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Posted by tom on February 17, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


multi-fig-fremgen
Hey Party People,

Just wanted to remind all you artists out there- life drawing, life drawing, life drawing! Nothing beats it for improving your artistic skill. So do it as much as you can, and never stop- seriously, never stop. Even when you become the next George Perez or Glen Keane, make time to life draw. Why? It’s like being an Olympic athlete. You need to keep up your training, to remain #1- and become #1.

Generally speaking, there are two schools of life drawing, the construction method and the measuring method. The construction method is the best for storytelling drawing (comics, animation, etc). You start with a gesture, build up shapes and volume, getting more specific as you go until you have a solid figure. Poses will last between 10 seconds to 30 minutes. Drawing fast and getting as much down as you can is key (forcing yourself to really understand the body). This method will not only teach you how to draw what you see, but also draw from you mind. This is because you will have a strong sense of the body, and can move it around in your head clearly.

The measuring method is more for illustrators and painters- in the sense they make one perfect images. The measuring method usually starts by drawing the nose brow of the figure and slowly expanding outward- using the features you just drew as a measuring tool to draw the next features. A pose will usually be no less than 30 minutes, and up to three hours. This is so you can methodically go over the whole figure and make it as prefect as you can. Starting with very little detail, and then slowly adding more and more detail, until you get what you feel is enough detail to define the figure.

I recommend taking a class in each method, and then focusing more on the approach you like and need. For myself, when I’m drawing ‘prefect’, I start with the construction method, and then use the measuring method to finish drawings. Hope to get the best out of each approach.

One word of warning! There are many, many, many, art teacher out there who don’t know either of these methods, and are STILL teaching life drawing! They have the false belief that if you simple draw the figure over and over again- without out a real plan of attack (aside from, well just study the figure, and try to make it look more like the figure), you will be able to become a good figure artist. This is like getting building supplies and trying to build a house just by looking at one- not happening. That ‘method’ only ‘works’ for people born with natural skill. Sometimes people are just born with talent, unknown to them, their brain is just wired to get it- they then assume everyone’s is, and they become sh!tty teachers. This is the bulk of college art teachers IMHO. Be nice, but stay away from these teachers, do not give them money. Always try to ask a teacher what they will be teaching, if they can’t get more specific than, “we study the human body, and focus on drawing it”, they probably don’t know what they are doing. A real life drawing teacher loves to talk about life drawing and how to do it!

Ok, time to get off the soap box. My pretty picture this week is from a life drawing class, where we drew a clothed figure. You can tell by my markers that it’s in the construction method. And the important thing about life drawing with clothed figures, you focus on folds, not wrinkles. Folds are what happens to clothing because of the position the body is in. Wrinkles are ‘marks’ in the clothing that have nothing to do with the figure.

Have fun!

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